Category Archives: Jesus

The Joy of Easter

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV

Isaiah 53
Sovereign Grace Music

Unto death He was stricken
Assigned a grave with the wicked
Raised to life and seated glorious
Savior King, our God victorious
Never more to die, He lives

Excellent Interviews

Chris Rosebrough, from Fighting for the Faith, interviewed Jovan MacKenzy and Ivey Conerly , two theologically sound rap singers.  They were two of the best interviews I have heard in awhile.  I have attempted to take notes.  Did you know it is hard to take notes on an interview?  I did the best I could to give you some of the highlights of both interviews.  You can click on the links below and listen for yourself!

Click here to listen to the Jovan interview.
From December 5, 3013 at about the 1 hour 33 minute mark.

  • “I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals.  I have within me, the great pope, self.”  Martin Luther
  • Jovan’s newest album is The Seduction of Self.
  • Sin comes from being seduced by the love of self.  Jovan
  • “Take my sinful flesh daily and drown it in the waters of baptism.”  Chris
  • “Our good works, our best ones, are as appealing as a used maxi pad.”  Chris
  • Even if you are right and someone is dead wrong, you don’t need to rebuke them unless you realize you are just as sinful or worse.
  • We need Christ everyday!
  • Our mind is corrupt compared to Christ.  Our hope is in Christ and not in our good works.
  • Who can come to the Lord’s supper? Those who understand they need to be forgiven.
  • God does not bless me according to my works.  His blessings come from His mercy.
  • We repent of our unrighteousness, but we also need to repent of our righteousness – thinking OUR works are good enough.
  • “The Christian life is one of suffering.”  Chris
  • “Everything goes back to the cross.”  Jovan
  • God forbid we sin so grace can increase.
  • Even though we sin, we are perfect in Christ.  It is all because of Christ.
  • We are in Christ.  And although we fail everyday, Christ didn’t.  He defeated sin!
  • We can be patient with others.  We need to pray for them.
  • We can forgive because we have been forgiven.
  • It is our pride that makes us unable to forgive others.
  • If God shows mercy, you can show mercy.  Not the other way around.  Just like forgiveness.  God forgives so we can forgive.  It is not we show mercy so God shows mercy or we forgive so God forgives.

Click here to listen to Ivey Conerly’s interview.
From December 10, 2013.  Interview starts at about the 1 hour 8 minute mark.

Ivey’s album, Justice System, was about the gospel and justification

  • There is a need for Christians to always hear the gospel.
  • Constantly need to hear about the work of Christ.
  • From Genesis to Revelation, it’s about the gospel.
  • The Holy Spirit in us helps us to live out the commandments of God.
  • We don’t always keep the commandments, so we find ourselves always at the foot of the cross.

Ivey’s newest album, Unknown God, helps the listener to understand who God is.

  • Acts 17
  • People have a concept of God.  They don’t really know who He is.
  • Idolatry of our day is not gods made of stone.
  • They named idols people make: possessions, family, their own self-image, pastors, actors.
  • This album points people to the living and true God, Jesus Christ.
  • It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)
  • Christ is NOT okay with your sin.
  • God is gracious and merciful and compassionate, but He is also a just God.
  • We should fear and bow the knee to Him.
  • Repent and believe the gospel.
  • May it never be that we sin more so grace can increase. (see Romans 6:1)
  • History of rap, interesting stories of St. Patrick and Martin Luther finished off this interview.

Enemies

PrayerMany are the times I have watched a movie or television show and was happy that the hero was getting his revenge upon the bad guy.  How many times I have had to check my thinking against Scripture and have had to confess to God that I was thinking like the world instead of like Christ.  Movies can make me forget that the most important thing is to tell the gospel to all.  Revenge is for God, not for us.  In fact, Scripture has a much different take on enemies than the world.  (All emphasis is added.)  It is sad to see some GCMers not even treating their husbands like Christians are to treat their enemies!

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  (Matthew 5:43-48 ESV)

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
 and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.
(Proverbs 25:21-22 ESV)

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  (Luke 6:27-36 ESV)

at Jesus’ Crucifixion:
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.  (Luke 23:34 ESV)

at Stephen’s Stoning:
And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
(Acts 7:60 ESV)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.(Romans 12:14-16 ESV)

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:17-21 ESV)

See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.  (1 Thessalonians 5:15 ESV)

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the LORD see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
(Proverbs 24:17-18 ESV)

Here is another hard lesson from God’s Word.  How many times are we supposed to forgive?  Jesus says seven times seventy…in other words, always forgive (Matthew 18:21-35).  Jesus then goes on to tell what the kingdom of heaven is like.  A man owes a lot of money to the king and the king forgives the debt against him.  The forgiven man goes out and does not have forgiveness or mercy for the man who owes him a little bit of money.  Wow!  Jesus forgives us so much.  Who are we not to forgive another sinner?  And what was the fate of the first man who owed much?  He was thrown into jail and was made to pay the full debt he owed.   “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”  (Matthew 18:35 ESV)

Hard teachings are they not?

“To return evil for evil is demonic. To return good for good is human. But to return good for evil is divine!” – unknown

photo credit: flickr via photopin cc